Taking insulin or other diabetes medicines is often part of treating diabetes, along with healthy food choices and physical activity. Medicine can help you manage the disease, and some other treatment options are also available.
The medicine you take will vary by your type of diabetes and how well the medicine controls your blood sugar levels. Other factors, such as your other health conditions, medication costs, and your daily schedule may play a role in the type of diabetes medication you take.
If you have type-1 diabetes, you must take insulin because your body no longer secretes this hormone, and you will need to take it several times during the day, including with meals.
You also could use an insulin pump, with the advantage of giving you small, steady doses throughout the day.
Some people with type-2 diabetes can manage their disease by making healthy food choices and lifestyle changes like being more physically active.
Many people with type 2 diabetes need diabetes medicines as well, and such medicines may include diabetes pills or medicines you inject under your skin, such as insulin.
In time, you may need more than one diabetes medicine to control your blood glucose level. Even if you do not take insulin, there may be special times, such as during pregnancy or if you are in the hospital, when you may need it.
If you have gestational diabetes, you should try to control your blood glucose level by making healthy food choices and getting regular physical activity first. But if you can’t reach your blood glucose target, your health care team will talk with you about diabetes medicines, such as insulin or the pill metformin, that may be safe for you to take during pregnancy.
Your health care team may start you on diabetes medicines right away if your blood glucose is considered very high.
Management Of Type 2-Diabetes
Contrary to popular opinion, there’s no specific diabetes diet. However, it’s important to center your diet on high-fiber, low-fat foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
You’ll also need to eat fewer animal products, and if possible, eliminate refined carbohydrates and sweets from your diet. Remember that low glycemic index foods also may help you achieve a more stable blood sugar (the glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food causes a rise in your blood sugar). Foods with a low glycemic index are usually foods that are higher in fiber.
A registered dietitian can help you put together a meal plan that fits your health goals, food preferences and lifestyle.
You should also learn how to monitor your carbohydrate intake and know how many carbohydrates you need to eat with your meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar levels more stable.
Everyone needs regular aerobic exercise, and people who have type 2 diabetes are no exemption to the rule. However, it is important to get your doctor’s approval before you start an exercise program.
Then choose activities you enjoy, such as walking, swimming, biking, etc…It is important to make physical activity part of your daily routine.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days of the week, and if you haven’t been active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually. Stretching and strength training exercises are also important.
A combination of exercises such as walking or dancing on most days, combined with resistance training, such as weightlifting or yoga twice a week, often helps control blood sugar more effectively than engaging in either type of exercise alone.
Physical activity lowers blood sugar, and don’t forget that. Remember to check your blood sugar level before any activity, and you might need to eat a snack before exercising to help prevent low blood sugar if you take diabetes medications that lower your blood sugar.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
Depending on your treatment plan, you may need to check and record your blood sugar level regularly, and if you’re on insulin, then do that multiple times a day.
Careful monitoring your blood sugar level is the only way to make sure that your blood sugar level remains within your target range.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can be unpredictable, but with help from your diabetes treatment team, you’ll learn how your blood sugar level changes in response to food, exercise, alcohol, medication, and other illnesses.
These steps will help keep your blood sugar level close to normal, which can delay or prevent complications from the condition.